Well, autumn has caught up with Long Island. The leaves are falling in bulk, the temperatures are down, and the holidays are within view. Here are three restaurants to enjoy for their flavor-packed food and upbeat mood. They’d be nice for a party, too.
City Cellar Wine Bar & Grill is a big, buoyant restaurant, with dishes that cross borders and a style suited for fun. Recommended: Kobe beef sliders, black truffle macaroni and cheese, charred octopus, rice balls, chicken empanadas, rigatoni Bolognese, the burger with Cheddar, flatbreads, charcuterie, blue-cheese crusted rib-eye steak. $$-$$$
City Cellar Wine Bar & Grill, 1080 Corporate Dr., Westbury, 516-693-5400, citycellarny.com
First and South in Greenport will be open through the holidays. It’s a satisfying stop whether you’re socializing or have just filled the trunk with all that farmstand produce for Thanksgiving. Recommended: lobster sliders, clam chowder, onion soup, buttermilk fried chicken, fish and chips made with cod, the oyster po’boy, pulled pork, cheese fries, macaroni and cheese. $$
First and South, 100 South St., Greenport, 631-333-2200, firstandsouth.com
Mara’s Homemade in Syosset will satisfy you with Arkansas barbecue, Cajun cuisine and more. You’ll warm up fast, enjoy the openhanded style, and almost certainly order takeout, too. Recommended: chargrilled oysters, crawfish-stuffed bread, okra-chicken-andouille gumbo, jambalaya, Southern fried chicken, Nashville hot chicken, brisket barbecue, pulled pork, burgers, chocolate cream pie. $$
Mara’s Homemade, 236 W. Jericho Tpke. (Muttontown Plaza), Syosset, 516-682-9200, marashomemade.com